|Protesters heading towards Ukrainian Parliament|
(Image: Андрій Парубій)
Situation in Ukraine still remains tense amid the deepening political crisis and inability of the ruling powers and Yanukovich and opposition to reach consensus. Tens of thousands of people continue to protest in Kyiv Independence Square and in other governorates as well, as the regional offices in many governorates are still under control of protesters and People’s Councils.
Ukrainian Parliament was expected to discuss the issue of amending the Constitution and vote for this decision during Thursday’s session, on 6 February, but despite the debates and talks consensus weren’t reached.
Parliament is divided over the Constitutional reform issue in at least two camps, one of them is represented by the ruling pro-Yanukovich Party of regions, and the second one is represented by the oppositional forces and individual MPs.
Party of Regions along with Communist Party claim they agree to amend Constitution, but they insist it should be done in a legitimate way and with all the procedures, such as forming special Constitutional Committee tasked with amending the national Charter, sending the draft to the Constitutional Court and then, if it will be approved there, to vote for the new Constitution in Parliament, during two sessions. The new draft should be supported by at least 226 votes during the first session and by 300 votes during the second one. But this process could be long and last till September.
Opposition in its turn claims there are all preconditions for amending the current Constitution and returning the 2004 edition of the national charter and approve the decision by voting of the majority in Parliament. This step could ease the tensions in Ukrainian society and help to resolve the deepening crisis.
But the Parliament didn’t find the common solution, and the issue of the Constitutional reform remains undecided. Western countries including USA and EU urge Ukrainian authorities to impose Constitutional reform and to form interim government.
|US Victoria Nuland and oppositional leaders, Oleg Tyagnybok,|
Vitaly Klichko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk
Oppositional leaders and many experts are sure that Yanukovich is just prolong the time ahead of his planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, where Olympic Games were recently opened. It’s worth mentioning that behind the scenes even representatives of the ruling Party of Regions note that Yanukovich puts high hopes and expectations on this meeting and its results in order to understand what steps could be made next. In addition to that Yanukovich and his government depend on the Russian credits.
As for the protesters, Euromaidan activists and units of self-defense have marched on Thursday to the governmental district and Parliament building to remind about their demands which haven’t been totally fulfilled yet. Nearly 2 thousand of members of Maidan self-defense units and 20 thousand of protestesters participated in the march. Protesters formed a long column and were led by the activist and member of Batkivshchyna (Homeland) Party Andriy Parubiy. This march was considered being a preventive action. In case the demands won’t be fulfilled and authorities will continue to ignore people’s protesting voices, the resistance will be stronger and there will be more active steps, claim activists.
Police presence remains strong in the governmental district, while other locations of the protests aren’t secured. On Thursday explosion hit the building of Trade Unions, where the headquarters of the oppositional forces and National Resistance are located. Two people were wounded. Another bomb was reportedly brought to the Ukrainian House, also seized by the protesters, but it was found and deactivated.
EU, US and many Western diplomats are calling for Ukrainian authorities to stop using force against the protesters and to listen to the people fighting for their future and their rights and freedoms. Western countries continue to express their support of Ukrainian revolutionaries and condemn the actions of the government threatening with imposing the sanctions in case the situation won’t be resolved in a peaceful way.
European Parliament has voted for two resolutions regarding Ukraine during the Thursday’s session, on 6 February. One of the resolutions condemned using violence against protesters and recommended to impose personal sanctions including travel bans and freezing of financial assets of Ukrainian high officials and oligarchs responsible for the recent violence in Ukraine. European Parliament calls also for the investigation of the murder, torture and kidnapping cases. The second resolution calls for financial support of Ukraine and recommend to aid Ukrainian interim government with long-term economic and financial package, in case Constitutional reform will be imposed and repressions will be stopped. EU also calls for unconditional release of all the detained protesters. In addition to that EU stated that the permanent commission of European Parliament will be formed to monitor the situation in Ukraine and mediate during the talks between the authorities and opposition.